Further sealing the deal that this war was a long time in the making before the decision to invade. Georgia was essentially going to be Europe’s energy cooridor, with help of building infrastructure from the United States, that would decrease dependence from Russia — and also relieve pressure from the Soviet Union’s dominate political leverage which has been displayed by shutting off the energy resource transit pipelines (at will) that run from Ukraine to Europe, thus leaving European nations cold during the winters in previous years. The Soviet-Georgian war was never about a hostile regime in Georgia, a pocket-sized country with a population of roughly only 4.7 million.
Putin’s press service immediately confirmed the “Lost Day” as a genuine documentary. After a meeting with his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sargsyan, in the Kremlin, Putin confirmed to journalists the accuracy of some of the “Lost Day” allegations. According to Putin, the plan to invade Georgia was prepared in advance and “the Russian side acted within the framework of that plan.” The General Staff of the Armed Forces prepared the plan of military action against Georgia “at the end of 2006, and I authorized it in 2007,” continued Putin. According to the plan, heavy weaponry and troops were prepared and mobilized for the coming invasion. As part of the Russian Defense Ministry plan, Ossetian separatist forces were trained and armed to act as auxiliary forces in the preplanned engagement with the Georgian military. According to Putin, “Our military specialists believed they [Ossetian separatist militias] could not provide assistance in a clash of regular armies, but they turned out to be much needed.” Putin confirmed he phoned from Beijing several times on August 7 and 8, 2008 to talk with Medvedev and Serdyukov (RIA Novosti, August 8).
This week, while commemorating the anniversary of the war in Tskhinvali, Medvedev rejected the narrative of the “Lost Day” film, announcing that the decision to use force against Georgia was taken “at the right time” and “the decision of a rocket attack was taken at 4 a.m., August 8 .” In the passage about an authorized rocket attack, Medvedev is apparently referring to the order to attack Georgian cities and military bases with ballistic Tochka-M and Iskander missiles. According to Medvedev, “Those who speak different, do not know, or are lying – such decisions are taken by only one man, the Commander-in-Chief, and that was me.” Medvedev insisted the decision was not easy “since we recognized until August 26  the foreign state of Georgia [with sovereignty over Abkhazia and South Ossetia].” Medvedev added, “We had special relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but also talked about the territorial integrity of Georgia, though we understood this was practically impossible” (Interfax, August 9).
The “Lost Day” film and the comments by Putin and Medvedev have revealed a great deal: that the invasion of Georgia in August 2008 was indeed a preplanned aggression and that so-called “Russian peacekeepers” in South Ossetia and Abkhazia were in fact the vanguard of the invading forces that were in blatant violation of Russia’s international obligations and were training and arming the separatist forces. The admission by Putin that Ossetian separatist militias acted as an integral part of the Russian military plan transfers legal responsibility for acts of ethnic cleansing of Georgian civilians and mass marauding inside and outside of South Ossetia to the Russian military and political leadership. Putin’s admission of the prewar integration of the Ossetian separatist militias into the Russian General Staff war plan puts into question the integrity of the independent European Union war report, written by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini that accused the Georgians of starting the war and attacking Russian “peacekeepers,” which, according to Tagliavini, warranted a Russian military response (www.ceiig.ch/pdf/IIFFMCG_Volume_I.pdf).
After agreeing not to seek reelection for a second term as President and becoming Prime Minister last May, Medvedev has been visibly sidelined on the Moscow political scene and has been struggling to assert himself. The “Lost Day,” which praises Putin as the great statesman and brands Medvedev a coward, has been interpreted as a move by Putin’s entourage in the Kremlin to undermine Medvedev and possibly initiate his ouster (Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 9).
In response to the “Lost Day” controversy, the Georgian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement calling the international community to “demand from Russia nonuse of force against Georgia” (www.newsgeorgia.ru, August 9). However, Putin does not seem to expect any censure from Brussels or Washington, where the Barack Obama administration is continuing to appease Moscow with its luckless “reset” policy. Most likely the Russian General Staff today has another “plan” of invading and occupying the rest of Georgia, while the decision to go and when, as last time, will be decided by the same one person – Putin.
Full article: Putin Confirms the Invasion of Georgia Was Preplanned (Jamestown Foundation)